• ESSENCE OF CHINA

    23 days from£4,600 PP
    Take a truly memorable journey as you immerse yourself in breath taking scenery and diverse cultures of Yunnan.  Explore and discover timeless villages that are steeped in history and wonder at the ancient architecture amidst dramatic mountain scenery.

    This tour includes some very long drives often on challenging roads. The majority of activities included in this tour require some walking and/or physical exertion.

    Parts of this trip are approx 3,000m above sea level, it is advisable to mention this to your GP before travelling. 

    TOUR HIGHLIGHTS

    • Sightseeing tour of Dali and Lijiang
    • Entry tickets to Tiger Leaping Gorge, Chengzi Ancient Village and a Cruise on Erhai Lake
    • Baishuitai white water terraces
    • Ganden Songtem Monastery
    • Traditional Wengding Wa Village
    • Excursion to Black Dragon Pool
    • Laohuzi rice terrace

    23 DAY ESCORTED TOUR

    DAYS 1 - 2

    Fly from London to Kunming, meet your Tour Escorts and transfer to central. Enjoy a welcome meal this evening and meet your fellow travellers.

    DAY 3

    After breakfast you will be taken to apply for your driving permit. In the afternoon visit a local flower, bird and fish market. Breakfast, lunch and dinner included.

    DAY 4

    Your motorhome will be delivered to your hotel this morning. You can stock up on supplies at the nearby before heading off to visit the Stone Forest to marvel at the amazing limestone formations. Spend the night at this scenic spot.

    DAY 5

    Travel to the Chengzi Ancient Village in Luxi Region. This region houses ethnic groups such as Yi, Hani and Dai. The village roads are staggered making the whole village look like a three dimensional maze. En route you may wish to visit the Alu Cave which resembles an upside down stone forest.

    DAY 6

    Drive to the Yuanyang rice terraces today, a World Heritage site created by the Hani people; take in the sunset over the rice terrace at Laohuzui.

    DAY 7

    An early rise is recommended today for a photo opportunity not to be missed. Catch the sunrise at the Duoyishu Scenic Area which is considered to have the most breathtaking landscapes in Yuanyang. Rest of the day is at leisure.

    DAY 8

    Today’s drive via Gejiu and Jianshui will take you to the Tuanshan Village. With its small cobbled lanes, ancient art and architecture it will leave you feeling you have stepped into the past.

    DAY 9

    Drive along the winding country roads, passing the laid back villages whilst admiring the spectacular natural scenery taking you to Puer, famous for it's tea. 

    DAY 10

    Travel to Jinghong today with the opportunity to visit the Wild Elephant Valley, a reserve for Asian elephants. This afternoon you will visit the General Buddha Temple and Manting Park which it is the oldest park in Jinghong City. When you have finished exploring the park you will visit a local farmer’s market followed by a buffet dinner.

    DAY 11

    Today’s drive will take you to Ximeng passing by many Puer tea house. As you drive through the mountains keep a look out for an old octagonal pavilion almost 1000 years old.

    DAY 12

    A hilly drive will take you to Wengding Wa Village, where the people still maintain an ancient lifestyle of traditions and worship.

    DAY 13

    Enjoy the spectacular scenery on this morning’s drive as you head to Xiyi, a village by the Mekong River.

    DAY 14

    On route to the Three Pagoda in Dali, you can explore Weishan Ancient Town known as a gateway to the Silk Road in Southwest China. The town centres on Xinggong Tower and contains 25 streets and 18 lanes whose layout resembles the shape of a chessboard. Inside the town there are many well preserved buildings from the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Here you can experience a slow-paced life, learn about local culture and taste delicious local snacks.

    DAY 15

    This morning leave your motorhome and take the bus into the old city of Dali. Enjoy a walk around the local farmer’s market. In the afternoon you will take a cruise on Erhai Lake and get a glimpse into the life of the Bai Ethnic people.

    DAY 16

    Spectacular sights await today as you visit the Tiger Leaping Gorge. The gorge is one of the deepest and most spectacular river canyons in the world. Enjoy a magnificent close up view of sharp cliffs and roaring water. Later drive to Baishuitai.

    DAY 17

    Enjoy your breakfast whilst taking in the views of Baishitai's white water terraces before heading off to The Ganden Songtem Monastery, a stunning Tibetan monastery located at 3,880m in the town and region known as Shangri-La. En route take time to visit the Pudacuo National Park or a Tibetan Village.

    DAY 18

    Drive to The Old Town of Lijiang, a UNESCO site and is one of the best preserved ancient towns in China famous for its distinctive Naxi culture and ancient buildings.

    DAY 19

    Today you will have a coach excursion to the Black Dragon Pool, which offers spectacular views of the region's tallest mountain, Jade Dragon Snow Mountain. Afterwards view the Murals at Baisha Village steeped in ancient history.

    DAY 20

    Enjoy the quiet roads today as you drive from Lijiang to Dali. Driving along the highway by Erhai Lake you will pass several observation decks that allow you to stop and take photographs or just simply enjoy the views.

    DAY 21

    Visit the Chuxiong Dinosaur Valley (optional) before heading back to Kunming to return your motorhome. Transfer to a hotel and enjoy a farewell meal with your fellow travellers.

    DAY 22

    Arrive in London. End of tour arrangements. 

    WHAT'S INCLUDED

    • The services of experienced Tour Escorts
    • Return indirect flights (London to Kunming)
    • All airport taxes
    • Chinese temporary driving permit
    • 18 days campervan hire with unlimited mileage allowance
    • Zero Liability vehicle insurance
    • 17 nights site fees
    • Three nights hotel accommodation in Kunming including breakfast
    • Transfers (as stated)
    • English speaking guide
    • Guided city sightseeing tour of Dali and Lijiang
    • Tiger Leaping Gorge
    • Cruise on Erhai Lake
    • Baishuitai white water terraces
    • Ganden Songtem Monastery
    • Traditional Wengding Wa Village
    • Excursion to Black Dragon Pool
    • Laohuzui rice terrace
    • Welcome and farewell meals
    • Tour daybook

    Prices are per person based on two adults sharing a 4 berth Motorhome

    EXCLUSIONS
    • Personal insurance – please ask for a quote
    • Motorhome fuel
    • Road Tolls (approx. £200 depending whether you choose to use the motorways or rural roads)
    • Meals and drinks (unless stated)
    • Excursions or entrance fees (other than those stated)
    • Personal expenditure
    • Single supplements, extra person supplements – available on request

    A FEW THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW

    • Drivers must be under 70 years old by completion of motorhome rental. Also, obtaining a Chinese driving permit involves a simple eye test at a local hospital - all part of the experience! 
    • There is only one campsite on this tour – all other overnight stops are on specially selected car parks that provide a functional base and easy access to places of interest. This means you rarely access your overnight stop until late afternoon and may also attract local attention when parked up!
    • Tour participants will therefore use the motorhome bathroom facilities at all times as car park washroom facilities are of varying quality and not always convenient. Emptying and filling up water supplies needs to be done on a daily basis.
    • Electric hook-ups are only occasionally available, so motorhome equipment runs off the leisure battery. A support vehicle travels with the group, providing assistance if needed.